As we embark on a New Year I have spoken to a lot of people who have said "Kubi I really hope 2019 will be a better year than the last." For them, 2018 was a challenge, with various trails and tribulations, and thus they are beginning this New Year with the desire of something different, something new.
But the reality is nothing will change, unless you change.
The challenges that life brings will not go away; the desire for more clients, or higher client retention, a higher paying job or having less stress, the need for increased profits, better staff, more supportive teams, expanded resources, greater investments, less negative people around you etc etc. Those challenges are just a part of doing business, they are part of the journey to building a brand, they are part of life! What's more the wider world that we live in appears to be in complete chaos; between the uncertainty with Brixit, Trump's trade deals, a pending recession..the wider world seem to be up-side down and the chances are in 2019 it will probably intensify.
So how do you get what you want, within all of this confusion? How do you stay focused on your end goals, without getting side tracked with all the noise? How do you curve out your own success amongst the uncertainty? How do you create your happiness despite what might be happening around you? You hold onto the notion that:
Success is a Decision and Happiness is a Choice.
To have a better year, you can't avoid the challenges, you need to be a better you despite the challenges. It is only when you take full responsibility that your choices and decisions, not the wider chaos and confusion, will determine your success and happiness, will you really achieve them both. To accomplish this there are four key questions to constantly reflect on throughout the year:
1. What do you focus on? The saying 'where our attention goes, our energy flows' is a brilliant illustration that what you focus on, is what will show up and manifest in your life. If all you focus on is the negativity in your life, you will attract more negativity. But if you choose to acknowledge the negativity, but then focus on the possibilities within the negative situation, you will attract more possibilities. For example, I had a client who had lost a lot of money from her first business. She therefore came to me wanting to get her branding right before she spent lots of money on building her website and other brand assets. However, whenever we had a meeting she would spend most of her time telling me how much it went wrong the last time. She would speak endlessly about how bad it was. Until one day I asked 'what did you learn from your last business?'. When she focused on the lessons, she saw that it wasn't that bad after all, and that actually taking the lessons learnt into this new business diminished the fear of trying again. Two years later and her new brand is not only launched, but in profit and exceeding her commercial targets. So the key is to be clear on what you are choosing to spend your time focusing on - wherever your attention goes, your energy will flow, and your energy will impact what actions you take, your actions become your habits and your habitual behaviour, determines your results.
2. What do you consume? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the average adult now spends over twenty-eight hours online each week. Nearly a third of that time is spent on social media platforms, that’s more time than we spend reading, exercising, or socialising. It’s almost as much time as people spend eating and drinking. Since we are spending this amount of time consuming media we need to be clear on what content we choosing to spend time consuming. Is your twenty-eight hours per week spent watching, listening and reading information that will enhance your ability to reach your goals? Or is it information that will simply make you feel insecure as you scroll for hours reviewing what everyone else is doing rather than focusing on what you need to do? Whilst I, like many, enjoy 'junk media' its important to limit this consumption and be clear on what other alternatives are out there. As an example I have a Youtube playlist with business leaders and motivational speakers that I really respect. I have over 100 videos and titles that I can reference when I need a 'pick me up' or want to learn something new. I have signed up to MindValley.com and choose this form of 'edutainment' rather than always going straight to Netflix to watch a movie. Whilst there is no wrong or right, its about finding content that stimulates you and gets you to where you want to be.
3. What are your morning routines? When you wake up in the morning what are your morning routines; do you mediate, exercise, pray, write your to-do-list? Or do you go straight for your mobile phone and start surfing the net or responding to emails? Research has shown that successful people choose to 'master their mornings' with a morning routine that optimises their ability to perform throughout the day. For example; Kevin Kruse does a daily 20-minute HIIT session on the treadmill. Jack Dorsey, CEO of Square, jogs every morning, Howard Schulz, CEO of Starbucks, bikes first thing, Congresswoman and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi power walks before she sits down to work and Entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk works out with his personal trainer. Whenever I am working with clients on their personal brands I ask them to review their morning routine and create one that will assist them to have the best start to their day. I have fond that too often whenever someone fails to have a morning routine and simply stumbles out of bed, still tired for lack of sleep, their day is not very productive. So create your routine and focus on everyday, starting the day with the intension of delivering excellence. Do that 365 days of the year and by the end of the year you surely see a difference.
4. What's in your Happy Box? ound silly, simplistic and even child-like, but have you tried creating a 'Happy Box'? Its a virtual box that comprises of a list of things that will instantaneously make you happy. Eg; I love comedy, so I have comedy videos on my phone. I love going to the spa, so I have a list of my favourite spa retreats. I enjoy good music so I have a Youtube playlist with my all time favourite songs. Getting cuddles from my daughter and husband make me happy so I try ad make sure I am home from work, on most nights, to enjoy an end of day cuddle! When life is challenging you and business is hard, its important to have things that you can turn to that will refuel your spirt, that will bring your energy levels up and will enable your soul come to feel alive. So as a suggestion, write down 50 things that make you happy and when life gets hard, choose something from your list.When you are having a bad day, what do you do to feel rejuvenated? It might s
In conclusion, to have a 'good year' you must focus on being the best version of you. You only have control of you; how you respond, react, act and what you choose to do. So don't give your peace away at the first bit of chaos that comes. Stay focused on what you say you want; have a strategy, be committed and keep your happiness. After all no-one can take it away, unless you give it to them.
Happy New Year.